Seriously, Whole30 is making me somewhat unrecognizable (for the better, I think). Prior to this experience I will admit that I had little respect for my food. Okay, that isn’t exactly fair. I’ve always LOVED food and had a respect for how incredibly delicious is it. But I never had true respect and appreciation for where my food comes from, how it’s treated, how it gets to me and how my choices impact the entire food ecosystem. I mean, that’s a lot to think about when you’re hangry and/or just trying to get out of the grocery store for under $200.
When we decided to do Whole30 I knew I was going to have to shake things up because my usual food routines just weren’t going to cut it anymore. Here’s some of the crazy-ish stuff I’ve done since starting Whole30:
- Weekly CSA Produce Box: Did you know that CSA stands for Community Sourced Agriculture? You probably did. I definitely didn’t. One fantastic and under-utilized perk at work for me is access to a weekly CSA for fruits and veggies through Hay River Farms. The produce is organic and usually local. Enlightened by my fantastic co-workers, I decided to give it a try to help me stay on top of my produce game for Whole30 and reduce my trips to the grocery store. I was totally surprised when I opened my seemingly basic brown box at work!
The CSA box is not only fresh and delicious and organic, but its also helped me being way more adventurous with my food. When you pay $37 for produce you’re not going to waste it, even if you don’t know what it is. A sample of what we’ve gotten in CSA (bolded items are new to me): Avocados, strawberries, figs, kale, baby bok choy, cherries, tomatoes, green top carrots, purple chives, plouts, apriums, green zucchini, fennel, spanish onions and nectarines. I have to admit that we let a few things go bad out of fear/ignorance in our first box (fennel and whatever those purple onion things are above) but overall it has been an amazing experience. How cool that it’s all organic? Or that much of it’s coming from farmers in my own state? I’m just obsessed with the idea.
2. Purchasing 1/8 of a cow through a beef CSA: I seriously laugh just thinking about this. When some good friends told us a few years ago that they had 1/2 cow I just about lost my mind. I can’t help but picture someone neatly sawing a cartoon cow in half and one person taking the front and one taking the rear. Seriously, what the hell?
And then I realized that grass-fed beef is really expensive at the grocery store. And the more I started thinking about the quality of the meat I eat, the more sense it made to do this thing. So after some recommendations and a lot of research, we ordered 1/8 of a cow from Grass Fed Cattle Co. If you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s the box of beef I picked up yesterday (this is half our order, so technically 1/16 of a cow):
So far, I would say that I’m obsessed with Grass Fed Cattle Co. I mean, look at the thank you note and the info about our farmer (Farmer Dan)! And they have been a joy to work with. I see more cows in our future.
3. Ordering Paleo cookbooks from Amazon: I’ve pretty much abandoned any sort of physical recipe or cookbook since Pinterest came along. However, the ringing endorsements from both of these books (and my love of Juli Bauer and her PaleOMG blog – seriously, she might be my spirit animal) made me actually order the physical copies. I spent hours going through them, page by seriously gorgeous page, and making the recipes that I must try ASAP when Whole30 is over. I marked almost every single recipe. I’m hoping to post recipe reviews when I start cooking. This is going to be crazy-fun! (sorry for the bad pic, links below)
The next question is: how will I change AFTER Whole30? At this point, I can’t really imagine going back to life as usual before Whole30. So, am I permanently Whole30? No, I don’t think I could handle that. Am I paleo? Maybe. Am I hybrid of it all? I’m really not sure. I think that reintroduction will be incredibly telling, which starts next Monday.
CSA Finder (MN): Want to be a part of a CSA? Here’s a great resource to find one that fits your needs.
Grass Fed Beef Co: Our beef CSA provider. Highly recommend.
PaleOMG: One of my favorite Paleo blogs, and author of one of the cookbooks I bought.
The Paleo Kitchen: A brand new cookbook by Juli Bauer (PaleOMG) & George Bryant. Every recipe looks amazing and completely realistic. Can’t wait to try it!
Against All Grain: A fairly legendary Paleo cookbook by Danielle Walker- supposedly she has the best recipes for non-grain food that is traditionally grain based (i.e. bread). Recipes look a little more time consuming, but I’m adamant about tackling a few.